Saturday, May 31, 2008

one local snack

one local snack
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
This week's "one local summer" post. I didn't do much cooking this week- it was a little crazy-making with little boy home from school, finishing pottery for the farmer's market, shipping off berry bowls to their new homes. We did eat local desserts. On Wednesday I hit the mid-week farmers market for salad greens from my favorite east-Arkansas farmers and peaches from Jones Orchard. They were a sweet, but a bit more firm than I usually like. It's early still, so I was lucky to have them. We grilled them, drizzled honey from Peace Bee Farm in Proctor, AR, over them, and served it over Memphis-made Angel Food Ice Cream. Can't get it anywhere else but Memphis- one of the things I missed when we moved away when I was as a young teen. After today's swelter of a day at the downtown Farmers Market, I took a cool-off. These strawberries from Jones Orchard in Millington, TN, graced my berry bowl display, then my angel food. Same drizzle of honey, plus a hearty grind of black pepper. I'm ready to face the world again.

If you came out to the market today, thanks! It was great to see so many of you from my email list!

The berry bowls, by the way, are gone. I made more this week, and will do more to have ready for my June 13-14 sale. I won't quit making them, I promise!

Friday, May 30, 2008

demonstration- time

The herb-marker-making demonstration is at 10 AM, on the North side of the Farmer's Market Pavillion.

market apron

market apron
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
Here it is- made start to finish during the not-naptime we had yesterday. Not naptime consists of little boy jumping from bed to floor with a large thud, sticking his head out the door, and a hollered (ya'll know I'm in the deep South, right?) "Mama, can I get up now?" every 15 minutes from 12:30-2:30. The vintage valence fabric was more dry-rotted than I'd imagined- even the bias tape trim on the bottom was rotting off. This little apron may have limited usage time. But to use it while I could, I lined the printed cotton with a sturdy vintage white cotton sheet. I also lined the tobacco brown linen, left over from when my mother and I upholstered my living room sofa, with the same sheet to give it more heft. It has four pockets for cash, pens, calculator (should I be able to find it).

After naptime (which ended when I finished the apron), we took off to the playground where my friend Virginia told me to "do something interesting with my hands." This is what I came up with.

Saturday is supposed to be a scorcher- so I'll be wearing my coolest top ever- again- I may never take off this little red top. I'm looking forward to being on the shady side of the market, next to the goat cheese man (must remember to bring cooler!), and having the fabulous quinoa salad that Laura Barrett of Bun in the Oven makes, for lunch.

It's a busy prep day for me today, but I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

invitation shot

invitation shot
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
I'm up early this morning, taking pictures of home-grown (though not by me) radishes in my berry bowl for the postcard invitation for my summer sale. I love the early morning light peeking over the roofline of my house, illuminating the potager (fancy french for kitchen garden. No, I don't speak french, I just like to *think* that I do. he he). This bowl is cracked, so it's staying with me, but I knew that it would look wonderful with these white-tipped breakfast radishes and the traditional red globe ones.

The radishes came from Keith and Jill Forrester, owners of the Whitton Flower and Produce Company. They sell at the market I frequent, as well as the Memphis Botanic Garden mid-week market in East Memphis. They just started a CSA service, which I'm signing up for in the fall. Beautiful produce, flowers, and service. And I can't wait to eat these radishes with salt and butter*!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Farmers Market

My second (and last) summer session of the Memphis Farmers Market, located off of South Main at Central Station, is this saturday. I'll be demonstrating how I make herb markers sometime between 9 and 11, and I'll have about 6 of molly's berry bowls, as well as an assortment of bud vases, tiny bowls, mugs, and other functional pottery. Stop by and say hello!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

first day of summer

I have to admit something to you. I've been a little nervous about this whole summer thing. This summer, after a year of all-day-every-day preschool, full time Mama potter/museum educator, is all mama and little boy. I have a game plan, but I'm afraid that it's going to be a LOT of "Mama, can I watch TV?"

This morning, at least, we managed something else. Our neighbor "grows" all of the butterflies for the butterfly house at the Memphis Zoo. She has hundreds of milkweed, parsley, and fennel plants in her garden, plus a multitude of other host plants I can't even name. And I'm a plant person! Last week we found a monarch caterpillar in our yard, so we fed it two milkweed plants and watched its metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly.

At breakfast, little boy noticed that the chrysalis was no longer green, but that we could see the wing pattern through the transparent walls. An hour later, our butterfly buddy was out! We took him outside to observe him as he dried off, warmed up, and flew away. We looked closely and made notes in our "summer notebook." My favorite observations are: "his eyes are purple." and "Its body is a little soft." Then little boy got a bit too close:

"Mama, get it off! get it off!" But oh, not before I could get a picture or two! Our little butterfly climbed from his milkweed perch to some red hair, then to my finger, and clung to some blades of garlic chives until I moved him to the garden for more support and shelter (rain has been threatening all morning), and privacy. I hope to our art on this afternoon by drawing a picture of the caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly together.

Monday, May 26, 2008

berry bowls

berry bowls
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
Here are five of the bowls- out of 30 I lost 6 to stress cracks (lines going from hole to hole or from the rim) or just plain old dropping them on the floor. You can tell from this photo that my piercing started out willy-nilly and got more evenly spaced as I made more of them. I've listed all of the orders over on etsy. The rest are going to the farmers market with me on Saturday, then I'll have more between June 1 and 14.

Even though I'm calling these berry bowls, which is how I was introduced to them with the gift of my first berry bowl, I could see these as great little harvest bowls for picking green beans, cherry tomatoes, pulling carrots or radishes. . . and then blueberry season will soon be upon us!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
Ever time I fire the kiln (almost always overnight, while I'm sleeping) I wake up feeling the most intense anticipation. Did it finish? Did it go "pop" like those internal temperature devices in turkeys? For quite a while this past year, it didn't go pop because one of my elements and connectors needed to be replaced, so I would run back out to the kiln, through the wet grass in my bare feet, wondering if the kiln was still hot enough (it always was) for me to turn it back up to high for another few hours.

This morning I woke up at 6 (the dogs are my best alarm clock), ran blindly (oh, I am SO blind and never can find my glasses first thing in the morning) to let them out, did my dash through the wet grass, happy to see that the kiln did indeed "pop." Back inside, feed the dogs, make coffee, find glasses, sneak a peek (top layer looks good!), now wait until the evening or even Monday morning until the kiln is cool enough to unload.

This is the kiln sitter- a wonderful (to me!) device that measures both the temperature and the time for firing. The knob to the left is the timer- after x number of hours it will shut itself off. The white circle and the silverish rectangle to the right measures the temperature. A tiny little stick called a mini-cone goes inside three prongs on the inside of the kiln. When it gets to the right temperature( about 2200 F/ 1240 C for glazes, cone 6), the cone begins to melt, causing the top prong to come down and that rectangle drops, shutting off the power to the kiln. I like this way of firing- many potters use programmable kilns, but I like to turn it up and control the speed of the firing myself. Luddite that I am, I'm always suspicious of digital readouts on equipment. Just one more thing to break down. I don't use witness cones (big versions of the mini-cone) because I'm lazy and I never can see them through the peep hole anyway. Most potters do. I've been chastised on more than one occasion for not using them.

More information that your ever wanted about kilns? Probably.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

billions of berry bowls

billions of berry bowls
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
Not really. It just felt like billions this afternoon as I was glazing them. Happily, all but the blue bowls are dipped into the glaze- happily 'cause otherwise those holes are a bear to coat. I'm working on making my blue glaze dipping compatible- my life will be so much easier if all of my colors are dip-able (it's a container issue that's causing delay on this little glaze problem). The majority of these bowls are white, with a few yellow and blues, and a green or two, thrown in for good measure.

So far, the bowls take up 2/3 of the kiln. With these ten plus a dozen tiny bowls, the kiln will be full enough to fire TONIGHT! I'll have another load of detailed leaf print and ladybug pieces for the farmers market later in the week, but these guys should be up and out on etsy by Tuesday. If you've gotten an email from me lately, your bowls will be in this first batch. I'll have more between the first and second weeks of June, so don't despair if you haven't heard from me. There are 28 in this batch- one is designated as the "Bridgman Pottery" display bowl because it cracked in the bottom, but I need a bowl to fill with strawberries, radishes, blueberries- whatever is in season- for my sale displays.

I used to have a "no weekend working" rule for pottery, but I'm ready to get these bowls out the door. So I can make more. Really, I had no idea ya'll would like them this much. I'll be throwing more on Sunday or Monday, glazing more mugs and ladybug ware until Wednesday, then working on my sale postcard to mail out on June 2. I'll be at the Memphis Farmers Market again on May 31, so if you're in the Memphis metro area, stop by and say hello!

Friday, May 23, 2008

one local summer

I just signed on to "one local summer," sponsored by Farm to Philly. I pledge to make at least one meal a week from all local ingredients (excluding olive oil, salt, pepper, spices)and share the results with you. Sign-up for this project ends on Sunday, May 25. We have a couple of marvelous farmers markets in Memphis- I hope that this will prompt me to visit them more often. I LOVE them, especially the downtown Memphis Farmers Market, but there is another one way out east at the Agricenter, and a mid-week market at the Botanic Gardens. Between those and my own little garden, this should be a snap. Summer begins for us this evening- today is little boy's last day of school- so I'm excited to begin the summer with a plan for our table.

In my own garden, the swiss chard is ready to pick, arugula has reseeded everywhere. The kale and cabbage are on their way out, but my potatoes and tomatoes, herbs, and beans are starting to fill in. A customer on etsy special-ordered some vegetable markers, so I bought some zucchini plants (just two!) for their leaves and to try in the garden. Despite zucchini's reputation, I've never had luck growing it, but we'll see how it goes this year. Potatoes were a bust in 2007-I had a sum total of five marble-sized potatoes, but I'm hopeful that this year's crop will be more substantial.

Whether growing the veggies and baking the bread myself, or finding them at the farmers markets, I'm looking forward to a delicious summer!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

bathroom mirror self portrait

Here's the top I made. Here's me, if you don't know what I look like. I need to get someone else to take my picture from now on. This photographer is SO fired!

TODAY is the day!

I'm bisque firing all of the berry bowls! Maybe on monday I'll have everything glazed and ready to fire. These are the last 3 (now there are 30) that I made Tuesday, finished Wednesday, then left to dry in a west-facing window. Then I'm going to sew again- this time an craft/market apron inspired by Alicia's , available to purchase here. I have some very vintage fabric I found when my neighbor's house was being renovated, and I've been saving it for a special purpose. It looks late 40s/50s to me.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

sewing, not potting

Tuesday was our first day of real summer weather. It was ghastly hot-so hot that I had to flee the studio. So hot that pottery (specifically a large gift platter) dried too fast, warped, and had to be remade. A couple of weeks (a month, even?) ago, Angry Chicken posted a picture of a simple little blouse that got me craving some sewing machine time. It seems like EVERY crafty blogger has made the Built By Wendy 3835 pattern. It looks super cute and super comfortable, but I was willing neither to shell out the cash for the pattern at a fabric store nor drive 12+ miles to said fabric store to get it. And it was hot. Too hot for a tee shirt. I needed a linen/cotton loose top NOW. So I took another pattern* and altered it until it worked. This is my first one- I may make five. Or ten- made out of a very thin red chambray that I've had for ages. There's some liberty cotton that was once a very full 80s skirt, and some thin handkerchief linen calling out to become this little top, too. All in all (hemming excepted) it took about an hour to cut out, alter, sew up, alter again, sew again. I think now that I know what I'm doing, it will take even less time. And I will LIVE in these. End of sewing talk. Back to pottery now.

*New Look #6678, which I bought at (ahem) Walmart when I was out of town and killing time while others shopped at our 4th trip to Walmart that weekend. Long story. Altering: cut out front and back on the fold (ignoring the buttons, using the centerline for fold placement), ignored the collar and all facings, using 1/4" elastic to gather the front and sleeves (I left the back plain because I wanted a lower neckline that what I could get if I gathered the back, too), and finishing it all with a bias strip from the same fabric.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

making hay

Yesterday I made my way over to my friend Naomi's house. She had kindly offered some of her fiddleheads, still coming up in her fern beds, for my pottery. She has huge stands of sensitive ferns, hay-scented ferns, Japanese climbing fern, and cinnamon ferns along the north side of her house. All of my ferns (they are few, because where there is fern-friendly habitat at my house, there is also bare packed ground caused by large dogs running and trampling) are already up and very slow to put up new growth. We're already into early summer here in Memphis- spring is easing its way out and the heat is upon us. I picked a half-dozen or so fiddleheads to use in platters, on mugs, and on bowls.

I also got some large fronds to use for platters- then stashed all of the goods in a vase to use as I get to them. Here's the thing about ferns, though- they're ephemeral, transitory. I used two fiddleheads and stuck them back in the vase. This morning they're shriveled. The clay dried them out. Most of the large fronds, as yet untouched, aren't happy either. The one pictured is still okay, but it needs to be used today. Happily, most of the ferns and fiddleheads can be pressed in a book and reused, and slightly wilty ones will uncurl in a basin of water, but TODAY is the day to work with them. I had a meeting scheduled for late this morning- I think I'll have to postpone and make Tuesday a pottery day, instead. This is little boy's last week of school, and time's flying by. I'm making hay while the sun shines.

The large platter the ferns are resting on (it is so large you can't even tell that it's a platter. The mold is a catering tray- 28" long, 14" deep)is a gift for a friend who is moving away in July. She has one of my celadon cake plates already, so this platter is made to match it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

berry bowl update

many, many berry bowls
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
A very grainy shot of all of my berry bowls. I made 27 this week. Honestly, I had to because every night this week I dreamed of nothing but berry bowls and not having enough. So, here they are: some for orders, some for the farmers market, some for my home sale. Sunday I threw 7, then pierced them on Monday. Tuesday afternoon I got into the pottery sweet spot and threw twenty of them. It took the rest of the week to trim and pierce them. I found one yesterday that had been hiding. It was trimmed, its handle was inside the bowl, the holes were marked but not pierced. I'll do that this evening. I hope to get everything bisqued by this coming Friday (if not sooner) and start glazing to fire by Wednesday next. The next Memphis Farmers Market that I'll do is May 31, and I'd like to get all of your orders posted up on etsy by Thursday the 29th.

This has been a crazy-busy weekend, but in the best way. Friday night was family pizza night- I couldn't live without our pizza stones (yes, plural, 2 round, one big rectangular baking dish). Saturday we had a big gardening and tree-house-building (the boys' project) day. Our garden is old and full of heirloom plants that like to travel. My mother was kind enough to help me chop out some overgrown bushes and trees. She also brought me several thrifted wool sweaters to felt for the baptismal banners I make, plus a size xl handspun Manos del Uruguay sweater to frog and reuse. Such gorgeous wool. About 2,000 yards of it to split with my mom! Dinner was at Al-Ryan, a wonderful and inexpensive Lebanese restaurant in a tiny strip-mall in midtown. And then I made three dozen red velvet cupcakes for a cakewalk at the annual St. Mary's bbq picnic this afternoon. Said cupcakes are still waiting to be iced. I am in love with Cheryl Porro's cupcake blog!

well. This post is all over the place. But I hope that it finds you all well and as full of spring enthusiasm as my little family is!

Friday, May 16, 2008

a-thrifting we go

Yesterday was a day filled with appointments scattered through the day, so I arranged for little boy to have an after-school playdate. Between and after appointments, I ran inconvenient-with-little-boy errands and stopped by my favorite thrift store on the way home. I LOVE this thrift store- I hop by a couple of times a month and always find great stuff- like a vintage burberry trench for $25, a pair of doc marten oxfords for 50 cents, $1 cashmere sweaters, and a $20 pottery barn wrought-iron and oak desk. It pays to stop in. The first thing that I spotted was this lovely little bowl. I snapped it up immediately- all bric-a-brac was half off, and this was marked 50 cents. I'm crazy about this. I have a deep affection for ginkgos, and the decoration reminds me of old french cafe au lait bowls, with their stenciled on decorations. You already know how I feel about those bowls. Right next to the bowl was an item that made me gasp. I knew it would happen sooner or later, but here it was:

one of my julep cups. Obviously used, it had some coffee (or maybe juleps!) stains at the rim. It was marked 50 cents. And it was half-off. I grabbed it. When I was paying for my haul, I told the manager (um, we're on a first-name basis. I really like this store) that this was mine. She (and the rest of the store listening in) didn't quite understand, but I clarified: "I MADE this. With my own two hands!" They all wanted to know what I'd do with it, and I thought about cleaning it up and putting my normal $8 price on it (because it certainly costs more than a quarter to make!), but I think I'm going to keep it as a "vintage" bridgman pottery piece. My new cups are a little more slender and I've changed my glaze formulations, so it wouldn't work as a set.

Gary asked me if I was upset to find it for so little at a thrift store. Honestly, not really. I give things away all the time. This store is part of one of the Memphis women's charity leagues, so it may have been a gift that didn't quite fit, or part of a set that broke. Really, I was pleased to have found it and that it made its way back home to me.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Bridgman Pottery annual studio sale: Friday, June 13, Saturday June 14. Father's Day weekend. Usually I have another potter with me, but she is in Spain right now, then heading on to Australia for a 6-week research trip, so it's solo mio this time. If you're local and need directions, email me!
** random comment winner from the lucky bowls post is Beth. A little happy is coming you way!**


I showed you these mugs when they were green and drying on my shelf back in early april. Finally, finally, the finished results. I love these two fiddlehead numbers. In the background is a Sensitive fern and either a Resurrection fern or a small Christmas fern. Delta Zen colorway.

My most favorite of this series was a dandelion leaf and blossom, which have always made me happy. Anybody see the old Japanese movie "Tampopo"? I was inspired by it back in 2001 to make a large dandelion platter- I might need to revisit that idea. Surely I'm not the only person who sees these are more than "just weeds." Even if they are weeds, you've got to admire their persistence. They are impossible to slay- a good characteristic for most of us to emulate, no? Of course the mug sold before I was able to get a picture. That always happens.

Back to the mugs: I only glazed 8 of these mugs for the farmers market. There are several left to glaze for the next market. I need to root around in my mother's ferns and in my little fern patch to find more fiddleheads- these drew a lot of comments from shoppers, so I should find a way to keep making them. The problem with fiddleheads is that they are easiest to find in early spring. By the summer, most ferns aren't putting up new growth, and the pressed versions don't leave the best impressions in the clay.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Ya'll, I am just bowled over by the response to the berry bowl. You really know how to make a girl feel like she's on the right path! I have seven ready to fire, seven more waiting to be pierced, and ten more to throw. At this point, if you've already contacted me about them, I'll have your order up as "reserved for" on etsy around the first of June-hopefully the last week of May. If you want one but haven't gotten in touch with me yet, we're looking at mid-to-late-June. My annual Summer Sale (at home, here in Midtown Memphis) is going to be the first or second weekend of June, so that, current orders, and the May 31 Memphis Farmers Market are in the forefront of my priority list right now. Did I mention that I've also been teaching art in the schools for the past two weeks? Tomorrow is my last class, so the rest of the week will be all studio time.

I'm really excited about pottery right now, so I hope that my output will be high AND of high quality. I still haven't taken my farmers market photos off of the camera, maybe tomorrow!

Monday, May 12, 2008

lucky bowls

lucky bowls
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
Have I showed these to you before? I've been making them for almost 8 years- since I first started making pottery. Four-leaf clovers usually jump out at me- I can sometimes look down into a clover patch and see three or four of the lucky ones. These are some of my favorite little gifts, especially as a tiny happy for friends who are facing tough times and need a little cheer.
I took a bunch of these to the farmer's market this weekend, and they certainly brought a load of luck with them- or maybe the fact that the market was the day before Mother's Day was just the lucky part. I didn't bring the big cup, and I left one of the little bowls at home, but the rest are gone! I sold almost all of my tiny bowls and did brisk business with the herb markers, mugs, bud vases, and even platters! I'll be back there on the 31st and will do a demonstration of how I make the herb markers.

It has been such a busy weekend- with the market, Mother's Day, some good friends' late Cinco de Mayo party, and it seems like nine other things going on (including an early jump on the berry bowls!)- that I haven't put the market pictures on my computer. I'll do that this week- they'll be over at flickr.

This is post 100 for me. I know who many of my readers are and am happy to call many of you friends, but I'd love it if the rest of you might consider de-lurking for me. Pretty please, I'm curious! If you'll comment on this post, I'll pick a random comment (little boy will pick a number from the total number of post by Wednesday, 5/14) and I'll send you a happy yellow tiny bowl.

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, May 9, 2008

more of molly's bowl

Hello to all of you who have come over from Molly's blog. She takes a lovely photo, doesn't she? Thanks, Molly, for letting me use this (and I'm happy to report that it's no longer thumbnail size)! So, if you're here because of this little bowl, and you want one, I'm planning to start making them on Monday afternoon (**edit, I started today, Sunday 5/11). Do you think you could drop me a line (bridgmanpottery-at-yahoo) so that I can estimate how many I'll need to make? Maybe put "berry bowl" in the subject line? Then I can let you know what my guestimate is for the price and also when I think they'll be ready (end of May-ish if I really get my pottery groove on). I love how it turned out in white, but yellow, blue, and celadon will also be available. I really appreciate all of the enthusiasm out there for this little guy!

Have a great weekend!

group photo

I always like to get a photo of a particular body of work before it's split up. This is my newest batch of sea urchins- made from January to March of this year. My favorites are the really spiky ones, but there's another that had most of its spines fall off- I put them on when the piece was too dry, so they fell off willy-nilly during both the prep and first firing, then again during glazing. It's sortof in the middle- I'll put this up on flickr next week and make notes. Some of these are intended to be vases, some salt cellars or votive holders. I hope some of them leave me tomorrow!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

to market, to market

to buy a fat pig. . . They do actually sell wonderful free-range meats, including pork, at our farmer's market. I won't be buying one this Saturday- I'll content myself with fresh broccoli and beautiful cheddar cauliflower, maybe some delicious arugula mix. I've finished glazing the ladybug pottery I intend to bring- there is more to glaze, but I don't need to bring it all on Saturday. My leaf-print mugs have their leaves painted and waxed. All that's left is to re-mix the white glaze and dip them after I finish teaching this afternoon. I might have a dozen or so herb markers to glaze, but that kiln is firing this afternoon. It's time to gather my tablecloth, figure out how I'll attach my new banner to the tablecloth (I had a friend who owns a sign company make up a table-sized banner that looks just like my blog banner, above), make change, make sure my bucket of herbs is happy enough to bring, and maybe run to the nursery to refresh any that have petered out. Like my marjoram that mysteriously started dying off last week. The end is in sight!

Teaching this week has been wonderful-yesterday I taught at a school that we're considering for little boy- I've taught there all year, working with the 4th grade classes. Yesterday I got a peek at the pre-K room and the art room- it's such a sunny, bright, diverse place. The only thing that I'm not sold on is the fact that I'd have to drive over. The other school, right next to his preschool, is less than a mile from the house. Since April 21, we've walked or biked to and from school, at least from school on days that I'm teaching. It feels like living in a small town-I hate the idea of losing that daily pleasure.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

fiddlehead teapot, II

fiddlehead teapot
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
I believe I showed ya'll this when it was green. I was really pleased with its form and loved how the fiddlehead sprigs (see referenced post above for an explanation of sprigware) turned out. I had planned to glaze this in the deep celadon glaze, but when it came down to it, I remembered that my friend Leigh Ann had suggested that I keep it in the simple green and white "delta zen" colorway, and since the celadon wasn't mixed properly, I went with what was easiest. I'm not thrilled with this handle- it should be smaller, but I'll need to find another. I think next time I do this I'll go ahead and make the regular attached ceramic handle.

Oh! I DID get my "not picardie" tumbler back. The preschool teacher even washed it for me. I'll have to work on getting her a little happy to thank her for returning the cup. It's funny, while it was gone I decided that I DID like it, and that potter and commenter Barb Jensen was right, that I just need to hand-make more of them.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

last little birdy

I made a few of these little bowls- one larger than my cafe au laits, one teeny one (this one is 2" tall, 2.5" in diameter at the top) and a tumbler. As I look at it now, this bird stamp, which I made for some St. Francis icons, looks a bit like an airline logo. Maybe it's just the position and the royal blue. Or maybe I'm just tired after a very full weekend. The larger bowl has a robin's egg blue interior and bird, the tumbler is all white with a blue bird. I like the clean lines, white exterior, and colored interior. Somehow, though, it almost doesn't look like my pottery to me. Not bad, just a stylistic departure. But not sure how exactly, though.

That last birdy piece sold before I could even pack it up to take to the farmer's market. Thanks Michele! I'll have to make more. I do like that style.

Have a great week, everyone. I'm teaching again this week and next. Between that and farmer's market preparations, I'll be around less, but you'll still hear from me.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

little bird butter dish

little bird butter dish
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
continuing my bird-love theme-
I threw a cup shape for the dome of this piece, trimmed it round, added the ridges, then made a tiny little bird to be the handle instead of throwing a knob like I usually do. There's a closer detail shot here.
Instead of throwing a plain saucer to hold the butter, I threw a little cup in the center to hold about half a stick of butter, more than enough for a meal. It's not a butter crock, but headed in that direction.

Next weekend is my first weekend at the Memphis Farmer's Market, so this will be for sale there. I'll have lots of herb markers, tiny bowls, honey pots, and a selection of serving pieces available, as well. Today I plan to get the rest of my green (as in unfired) pieces into the kiln to fire so that I can get them glazed this week. I am woefully short on ready-to-sell mugs.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, May 2, 2008


My little boy is very tenderhearted. Earlier this week I was clipping some roses from our church to try to root and he asks "Mama, do flowers make you happy?" Yes, indeed they do. Yesterday, we were attempting to fly a kite in our front yard and he asks, "Mama, is yellow your favorite color?" Yes, it is. Every afternoon on the way home from school when we pass a clump of dandelions in someone's yard, he picks them for me, and I wear them in my hair, at least until we get home. I was reading the Honeyflake blog with my lunch today and saw this photo, which reminded me of my child's sweet spirit. Too often I'm afraid of forgetting these small joys of parenting, but this one photo brought some warmth into this mama's heart and reminded me to capture the daily examples of my little one's love.

birdy teapot

Yesterday, in my sketchbook, I showed you a picture of a bird-lidded teapot. It just came out of the kiln, and is the same one that I showed you and talked about way back in January, inspired by Laura Norris's fun bird painting. Well, here it is. I was pretty pleased with how it came out- This one will be for sale, but I haven't priced it yet. For more detailed pictures, go here.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


sketchbook page
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
yesterday afternoon, while little boy was watching his coveted 30 minutes of pbs kids, I spent some time wandering around etsy and flickr, looking for ideas. I frequently look for "bee," "bird" and "pottery" to see what other people are doing with my favorite themes. Lately I've been all about the birds. When we go on walks I pick up the newly hatched egg shells from robins and mocking birds, marveling at the intensity of the blues. I found a tiny tiny blue jay feather that is resting in my kitchen window. It only makes sense that I'd put these things that inspire me in my pottery.

Two things I noticed- small birds perched on the rims of bowls and/or used as knobs, both of which I already do, and paintings or drawings of silhouetted birds perched on a wire. Because I don't want to copy anyone else's work, blatantly or otherwise, and because I really don't draw or paint freehand on my work (that tends to impede production), I started thinking about how I could make this image my own with clay stamps like my little bee logo stamp. The lone dove (because those are the birds I see perched outside my window most often) will probably be the image that I use for the stamp, and I really like the idea of the line continuing around the entire piece. I'm thinking of a bowl or mug with a small thin line carved around the top of the piece as it rotates on the wheel. We'll see how it goes.